So, I’ve been thinking, lately about the way children grow. This weekend I attended the beautiful wedding of one of my cousins. Now this cousin happens to be one that I carried on my hip for years. I’ve always loved children, and especially babies. And he was “my” baby. And I just witnessed him becoming a husband. Thinking about how old that must’ve made me feel? I hadn’t thought of that, but thanks for
rubbing it in pointing it out. And it left me thinking about how just a few minutes ago, it seems, I was a tween, and he just a baby… it makes me realize that in seemingly a few more minutes, I’ll be watching my own children walk down the aisle. And that is truly mind blowing.
While I thought about what it would be like to watch one of my babies pledge their lives to someone, other than me, I couldn’t help but think of all the things I hope they find in a partner. I mean, how many times have we watched friends and family in relationships where we’re like Ugh, what do they see in him? Or How can he not see the way she treats him? But, let’s face it, it’s fairly safe to say that lots of us have been in a relationship like that. Where we couldn’t see what was right in front of our faces. So how do I teach my children to avoid that? How do I tell them about the things to look for in a spouse?
The long and short of it is that I show them.
I teach my daughter that although sometimes it feels like she will never stop talking, all of her words are worth listening to. I teach my sons that honesty is more important than being the one that is right. I show my daughter that true beauty is in showing kindness to those who are undeserving, because in reality, everyone deserves a little kindness. I show my boys the importance of gentleness. I show my daughter that her dreams are as important as anyone else’s by living out my own. I show my sons that raising a family is thing to be proud of, by having pride in our daily interactions. I show my children what commitment looks like. I show my children that their father is a man worthy of respect, by the way that I respect him. I show my children that I am not servant to their father, who follows behind him, but a partner, who walks along side of him. I show my children these things because this is how they will choose their partner. These are the ideals they’ll carry with them. The way their father and I relate to each other, and the way we relate to them. I can only hope that they see all the things I am trying to show them. And that I can remember to behave in a way that is intentional, so that I am showing them, and teaching them patience. With each other. With me. With their future partners. Because heaven knows, in marriage, and in life, you need a lot of patience to get you through.
To my baby cousin, who is now a married man, and his sweet wife: Hold hands, even when you don’t feel like it. Kiss each other goodnight, even when you don’t want to. Have a tradition that you stick to, and really stick to it. Because when you continue to behave as if you’re madly in love, it’s hard for those feelings not to follow. And in the hard times, that will get you through. And DO go to sleep mad once in a while. Sometimes you do need some sleep to think clear-headed and not to just say words out of frustration, anger, and sleep deprivation. Don’t look at arguments as an end, rather as a beginning to learning better forms of communication between each other. And from a former young bride to another, remember that while others may think you young and naive, really it just leaves you with all the more years of growing old together- and making fun of those that stood in your way. Love you!